The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade was a free trade agreement that eliminated tariffs and increased international trade. As the first multilateral free trade agreement, GATT governed an important part of international trade between January 1, 1948 and January 1, 1995. The agreement ended when it was replaced by the more robust World Trade Organization (WTO). Tariff reductions and new rules to control the proliferation of non-tariff barriers and voluntary export restrictions. 102 countries participated in the cycle. Concessions have been made for $19 billion. The fourth round returned to Geneva in 1955 and lasted until May 1956. 26 countries participated in the cycle. $2.5 billion in tariffs have been eliminated or reduced. Unlike the ITO charter, the GATT did not need congressional approval. Technically, the GATT was a 1934 agreement, in accordance with the provisions of the U.S.
Reciprocal Trade Act. The eighth and final round of this type, called the “Uruguay Cycle,” concluded with a much broader agreement. The GATT was first discussed at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment and was the result of the failure of negotiations on the creation of the International Trade Organization (ITO). On 1 October 1947, signed in Geneva, it came into force on 1 January 1948. It remained in force until the signing of the Uruguay Round agreements, which established the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 1 January 1995, until the signing on 15 April 1994 in Marrakech of the Uruguay Round Agreements that established the World Trade Organization (WTO). The WTO succeeds the GATT and the original GATT text (GATT 1947) is still in force under the WTO, subject to amendments to the GATT in 1994.   Nations that were not parties to the GATT in 1995 must meet the minimum conditions set out in certain documents before joining; September 2019, the list included 36 nations.  GATT has introduced the principle of the most favoured nation into collective agreements. Finally, there are the detailed and long timetables (or lists) of commitments made by each country that allow certain foreign products or suppliers to access their markets. For GATT, these are mandatory tariff commitments for products in general, as well as combinations of tariffs and quotas for certain agricultural products. With respect to the GATS, the obligations indicate the degree of access of foreign service providers to certain sectors and include lists of types of services for which some countries declare that they do not apply the most favoured nation principle of non-discrimination.